Oswald Chambers, a well known Christian minister and writer of the early 20th century, once said: “I have never met a man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.”
Christians are saved by the grace of God. Kept by the grace of God and will be able to enter heaven and be with Jesus forever because of the grace of God.
The world in general only sees the bad side of things – catastrophes, illness, cruelty, injustice etc. etc. much of which is man’s own fault and because he lives in a fallen world where sin abounds. He forgets that he depends on the grace of God for his life and even the air he breaths, and that God withholds judgement so that he may turn to him and be saved.
Medieval man had many faults, much of his religion was idolatrous, superstitious, and cruel, but, by and large, he recognised his dependence on God and was thankful. The early scientists, and learned men of the renaissance period acknowledged that their talents were gifts from God, and that what they had discovered had been put there by God, and that the raw material that they exploited and developed had also been put there by God, and they too were thankful.
Today there is no gratitude, only complaints and a demand for “my rights.”
This overall attitude can perhaps be summed up by Bart Simpson, of the U.S.A’s favourite cartoon “The Simpsons”. When asked to say grace before a meal he said, “Dear God we paid for all this ourselves. So thanks for nothing.”
But the Christian believer has every reason to be grateful to God the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ.
We read in the apostle Paul`s letter to the church in Rome –
God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us – Romans 5: 8
Because of his life, because of his death, because of his resurrection, and above all, because of his love, we are saved and eternity is ours.
But what about this life, what about the trials, the sorrows, the frustrations and the problems that occur each and every day; Jesus experienced them all. He told his disciples, and remember, if you believe and follow him you too are his disciple –
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world – John 16: 33
He also told his disciples – I am with you always even unto the end of the age – Matthew 28: 20 – He promised to come to them again and, of course, he meant through the Holy Spirit – I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you – John 14: 18
If you trust him and follow him you can be assured of his presence at all times. He will deliver you from dangers and difficulties, or be with you in them giving you courage and peace in your heart.
Those who say that there is no God still have to face the evils and injustices of this life, but without knowing the reason for it or the purpose of it and they can give no assurance about anything; life, with all its ups and downs must inevitably be purposeless.
Of course, you may say, “I just want my life, short as it may be, to make the future a little better” A noble thought: But if you live to be ninety years old, it would not be long enough to be measurable in the light of eternity. If there were no God, no judgement, and no after life, it would be as if you had never been; purposeless.
No wonder the Bible says – You are a mist which appears for a little while and then vanishes – James 4: 14
For the Christian believer everything he does and experiences in this life has an eternal dimension, it puts an aura around even the most mundane things, everything becomes purposeful.
The Bible says – We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose – Romans 8: 28
His call goes out constantly throughout the world, Jesus is calling you now – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” – Matthew 11: 28
Let me finish by saying that I have spoken much of trials, problems and sorrows, but, of course, there are many moments and even periods of love, joy, happiness and fulfilment during this life time, both for believers and unbelievers –
(God) causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous – Matthew 5: 45
Let’s be grateful and give thanks for all things – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows – James 1:17
The greatest gift that he has given us, by his grace alone, is eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Come to him now and let him direct your life and your life – style in this life, and you can be assured of eternal happiness in the life to come.
God bless you!!!
Pastor Gordon Guillermo Burgess
Alicante Church Of The Good Shepherd